I love drinking -- I’ve gotten really good at it over the years, and like to keep my mad drinking skills up with lots of practice -- I’m like an athlete in many ways. I’ve also discovered that there are certain things that I do so much better when I’ve had a couple of drinks.
This was originally meant to be a fun piece about my amazing drunken ability to speak French when hammered (which Phoebe and I came up with ... in the pub), but quickly descended into a sad little list of all my bad drunken behaviour. I’m almost tempted to go onto Facebook now and ask 300 of my nearest and dearest friends "Am I an alcoholic?" but I’m worried that I’ll get a resounding yes from everyone. Or worse, a total tumbleweed lack of response -- the sound of 300 people looking in the opposite direction.
By Emily's reckoning I'm not there yet -- but maybe you need to add "If every other pic of you on Facebook involves you holding a drink that's bigger than your head" to the list.
Hmmm, I suspect there’s another post in that. In the meantime, ta da! The 8 things I’m really, really, really good at, but only when I’m drunk:
1. Speaking French
I used to speak fairly OK French when I was at school, but I’ve since forgotten almost of all of it. Until I’ve had a couple of glasses of Pernod, that is. I once spoke to a French girl I met at a house party in a fairly decent approximation of her mother tongue for 10 minutes straight. She told me I had an excellent accent and sounded like I came from La Rochelle. I have no idea what I said. But, my French textbooks at school -- Tricolore, did anyone else use those? were set in La Rochelle, so I guess that, (and all the Pinot Noir), explains that.
I can’t flirt in real life. I can grin inanely at someone, or be rude, but I’ve never really mastered art of coyly flirting with someone I actually fancy without going bright red. Unless I’m drunk that is, at which point I turn into Paula Yates that time she interviewed Michael Hutchence on Big Breakfast. But not as subtle.
My old boss once introduced me to a client with, "This is Rebecca, she’s a lovely girl, but she’s only got one dance move." Technically this is true, but boy do I know how to use it. Strangely enough, I’m only comfortable showing off my mad dance skillz when I’m on my fourth drink of the night, which is a shame, because they really are a sight to behold.
OK, there’s a massive caveat on this one -- I can write really well up to and including my second glass of wine. After that it gets a bit ... rambly. In fact, I’m really struggling to write this feature, which might be down to the fact that I haven’t had a drink today. Hang on, that’s better. Alcohol in moderation definitely gets the creative juices going when I’m feeling a bit uninspired. I try and avoid getting hammered in the office at 10 o’clock on a Monday morning though, that’s not cool.
The flipside to this is that about three hours into a hangover I get a sort of razor sharp focus that I can only recreate in moments of extreme panic. When Jane (and Charlotte!) came to see us in the London office, I totally disregarded the fact that my boss was in town and had a massive night out before her last day -- the sorry evidence of which can be found here (sorry Jane!) [No prob, honey. ]. However, I also produced a huge amount of work that afternoon -- fuelled by a winning combination of panic and guilt.
5. Tell jokes
I hate it when people (often women) claim that women generally have no comic timing. I have loads, but only when I’m three sheets to the wind. When sober I get too self-conscious, forget the punchline and start stuttering. Get a few drinks down me and it’s like a Morecambe and Wise Christmas special. Thinking about it, I’m probably quite an annoying drunk.
6. Have awkward conversations
Yep, I’m that person. There’s nothing I love more when I’m drunk than passive aggressively bringing up That Thing that’s been bugging me for weeks, and I’ve been silently seething over. Cue insane rambling from me about something you didn’t even realise was An Issue, and possibly some screaming and plate smashing from me, depending on a very exact combination of rage and booze. If I had the time and a more than rudimentary knowledge of excel, I’d try and work out the exact formula for you. So you know when to run in the opposite direction.
7. Lose my phone
Someone else suggested this one, and although I initially denied it, I’ve realised that it’s true, I’m exceptionally good and losing my phone when I’m drunk. In fact, there was a period of time where I couldn’t go to the pub at the end of my road for a quick gin on the way to work (ha!) without leaving my phone in there. Given that I love my phone and use it for everything, this is always a MASSIVE palaver. In fact, when Jane came to see us (yay!), I'm pretty sure she tried to call me to double check the office door number, but guess what? I'd lost my phone. Again.
8. Having an opinion
Sometimes I can be really opinionated on a certain topic. Other times ... I just don’t care. I always feel faintly guilty about this, because we’re talking about things I’m SUPPOSED to care about -- architecture, the environment, recycling. However, a couple of drinks in, my habitual apathy is overtaken with a fiery passion for, pretty much everything. A trip to the pub can often result in me agreeing to do a fun run, replacing all the light bulbs in my flat with energy efficient ones and signing up to a foreign language course I’ll never do, because suddenly, I care so passionately about EVERYTHING. The next morning’s hangover normally leads to a total volte face on all of the above, except the lightbulbs, because I can’t be effed to get the ladder out again.
Plus: here’s some things I think I do better when I’m drunk but am almost definitely worse at:
Conveying my point of view without shouting
Waxing my legs and/or bikini line
Applying fake tan
Is it time to call it quits and become that really cool person at parties who's having loads of fun at parties without drinking? I've started trying hypnotherapy to cure binge drinking, but I've only done one tape so far and I've developed an unhealthy obsession with sparkling water, to go alongside my gin obsession.